Edison’s invention of the electric bulb changed the way people see the world. The lighting systems have changed over the last century from incandescent to CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamps) to LED’s (Light emitting diodes) that we are using today.
Low voltage LED lights are replacing the conventional CFL lights around the world. But, are LED lights the future of lighting? Visit a lighting store, and you will find more LED lights instead of CFL and conventional lights. The salesperson will suggest you buy the LED light bulbs while highlighting the benefits of using them.
With the increasing awareness about the benefits of low voltage LED lights, more and more people have switched from incandescent lamps and CFL's to LED lights over the past decade. If you are yet to make the switch, outlined below are a few reasons that will help you make your mind.
LED lights have a longer lifetime as compared to the incandescent lights and CFL bulbs. The life of light emitting diodes used in LED’s is far more than the tungsten filament used in incandescent bulbs. If you use a high quality LED bulb for 8 hours per day, you won’t need to replace it before 10 years. LED lights can last longer if you reduce the usage hours per day. The actual lifetime depends on multiple factors like usage per day, quality of the bulb and the environment in which it is used. However, the lifetime of LED is always more than that of an incandescent bulb, which ultimately helps you save money over the years.
LED lights use less than 50 per cent of the electricity used by the conventional incandescent, CFL and halogen lamps. This leads to substantial cost savings, especially for areas that need to be lit for extended periods of time. The latest low voltage LED bulbs claim to have an energy efficiency of 80 to 90 per cent more than the conventional and traditional lamps. This indicates that LED bulbs convert 80 per cent of the energy into light and remaining 20 per cent is converted to heat and other losses.
The energy efficiency really matters for large-scale applications such as industries, and infrastructures like highways, cities and airports. Such places use thousand of lights and can save a lot in terms of energy by using LED lights.
Earlier, the LED lights were quite expensive and used to cost around $20 to $50 per bulb. Moreover, they had problems like color consistency, heat radiation and durability. With the growing technology and demand, the cost has reduced significantly. Today, the average cost of an LED bulb is around $1.50.
The low voltage LED lights are now affordable for common people. If we consider the prices, the cost of LED light is still more than the conventional lights, but their low power consumption and longer lifetimes save more in the long run.
The LED bulbs emit light in a straight direction as the LED’s are mounted on a horizontal plate inside the body of the bulb. Almost every other type of light emits light in all directions, which means that a lot of light is wasted in illuminating the unwanted areas. The LED bulbs have solved this problem as they emit light in a single direction. They illuminate only the area you want to light up which makes them more efficient than other forms of lights.
The conventional lamps are made up of toxic materials like mercury, tungsten and glass that are dangerous for humans and the environment. On the other hand, the LED lamps do not contain any toxic chemicals. Moreover, they are 100 per cent recyclable and help in reducing the carbon footprint by up to 35 per cent. The longer lifetime of the LED lights also indicates that one LED bulb can save the material and production of at least 25 incandescent bulbs. The eco-friendliness of LED lights can prove to be a big step towards a greener future.
The LED lights are ideal to operate in low and high-temperature conditions. The CFL’s require a high voltage to start in cold temperature conditions, however, the low voltage LED lights start easily in both low and high temperatures. Their performance increases with the drop in temperature which makes them ideal to use in low-temperature areas. LED lights tend to perform better than other lights in refrigerators, refrigerated displays, freezers, and cold storages. Moreover, they are ideal to use in outdoor areas like parking lots, building perimeters and signage boards.
While using the incandescent lights less than 10 per cent of the energy is converted to the visible light. Almost 90 per cent of the energy is converted into the infrared (IR), ultraviolet (UV) radiation and heat. The UV radiation and excessive heat can be harmful and dangerous for people and materials. They can burn the flammable materials and goods with low ignition temperature. The LED lights do not radiate any infrared or ultraviolet radiations, which makes them ideal for use in any environment.
Color Rendering Index is known as a measure of the ability of a lamp to reveal the natural color of things as compared to a source of natural light. The lamps with a high CRI rating shows the objects with natural light and reveals their actual color. The white colored LED lights have a good CRI, which brings out the actual color of the objects. However, the lights with a color temperature illuminate the objects with a different color. For example, the LED light with a yellow color temperature will illuminate a white cloth with a yellow tint. However, the white colored LED lights have very good CRI ratings as compared to the traditional incandescent lamps.
The lighting industry has grown significantly over the last decade as a result of LED technology. The longer durability, low carbon emissions, high quality of light and efficiency has helped the LED lights to capture a large market share. According to the Electronics and Optoelectronics Research Laboratories, the total value of the LED lighting market was worth $30.5 billion in 2014 which is expected to touch the $51.6 billion mark in 2018.
The biggest barrier to the commercialization and widespread adoption of LED lights was their high price. However, the rise in competition and reduction of production costs has lead to the reduction of prices as well. The reduction of production costs has also led to higher returns on investment due to which many companies have entered the LED lighting industry.
The Led lights are becoming the mainstream. In addition to that, the next generation of lighting, organic LED (OLED) is already creating interest. OLED technology, which is presently being used in display screens and phones is expected to take over the market in the next few years.
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